Family cluster of avian flu cases reported in Vietnam

first_imgMar 29, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – Initial testing indicates that all five members of a family of chicken farmers near Haiphong, Vietnam, have avian influenza, the World Health Organization (WHO) and news services said today.”These cases, which include the parents and their three young daughters, are undergoing further investigation following initial tests indicating infection with the H5 subtype of avian influenza,” the WHO said in a statement. “Reports indicate outbreaks of avian influenza in poultry in the vicinity.”An Agence France-Press (AFP) report said the family members were in stable condition in Haiphong’s Viet Tiep Hospital. An unnamed physician at the hospital was quoted as saying, “Initial tests showed they are positive for H5N1. We are treating them according to plans but we need final confirmation from Hanoi.”If the cases are confirmed, they apparently will represent the largest family cluster since human cases of H5N1 avian flu began occurring in Asia in early 2004.A woman who lives near the family is also being treated for suspected avian flu, another doctor from the Haiphong hospital told AFP. The Chinese news agency Xinhua further reported that a child from the same commune as the other six people is hospitalized.A field investigation of the family cases is under way, WHO reported. “Thorough investigation of all such clusters is essential to determine possible changes in the behavior of the virus and thus support assessment of the risk of an influenza pandemic,” the agency said.The statement also said, “There is currently no evidence that the H5N1 virus is spreading easily from person to person.”The WHO also reported today that the Vietnamese Ministry of Health has formally confirmed several avian flu cases that were previously reported by the news media. The agency listed the people involved as a 5-year-old boy from the central province of Quang Binh, a 17-year-old girl from the northern province of Nam Dinh (who died Mar 23), and a 40-year-old woman from the northern province of Quang Ninh. An earlier case also has been confirmed, the WHO said, but the agency did not describe that person.The WHO also provided a limited update on the investigation of media-reported cases of flu-like illness in Quang Binh province. The agency is awaiting test results but said the number of illnesses appears much smaller than the 195 cases first reported by local media.If the Haiphong family is included, the unofficial count of avian flu cases has risen to 79, including 49 deaths, since late 2003. That includes 60 cases with 35 deaths in Vietnam, 17 cases with 12 deaths in Thailand, and 2 fatal cases in Cambodia.Meanwhile, poultry and politics were taking center stage elsewhere in Southeast Asia, as officials sought to contain outbreaks in Cambodia and North Korea.Using bullhorns and battery-powered tape players mounted on motorbikes, health workers in Cambodia are going from house to house in Cambodia’s Kampot province, said Sok Touch, director of the Health Ministry’s communicable disease control department, in an interview for an Associated Press (AP) story today.”They are telling people not to touch sick or dead birds and that if they have any suspected bird flu symptoms, such as fever and cough, they should go to the nearest healthcare center,” he said. Both Cambodians who died of avian flu lived in Kampot province.An investigation continues in Kampot into the Mar 22 death of Meas Ran, 28, WHO announced today. The agency said Cambodian officials formally confirmed his previously reported case today. Authorities have learned he had contact with sick poultry, but apparently he did not pass the disease to others. Thirty-three of his family members, neighbors, and healthcare providers have tested negative for avian flu, WHO said.Elsewhere, the WHO had been in talks with North Korea about preventing human cases of avian flu even before the recent announcement that the country slaughtered hundreds of thousands of poultry sick with avian flu, according to AFP. North Korea’s state media have said no human cases have occurred there.”The WHO had offered its help to the country to prepare for human cases of avian flu,” WHO spokeswoman Fadela Chaib told reporters, but didn’t say whether the offer had been accepted.Another WHO official in Asia said the agency sought to obtain a sample of the virus in North Korea for testing, AFP reported today.Although avian flu is killing poultry in five Asian countries, only two of them have maintained timely reporting of the cases to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), as shown on OIE Web site. Thailand reported the deaths or culling of 50 chickens in Sukhothai province from Mar 9 to 17, and Indonesia reported an outbreak among chickens for the week ending Mar 11.North Korea hasn’t notified OIE but is working with the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization, AFP reported today. Other countries appear to be lagging in OIE notification: Vietnam made its most recent report on Feb 28, and Cambodia made its most recent report on Sep 22, 2004.See also:Mar 29 WHO news release read more

Bielema, seniors avoid repeat in Champs

first_imgORLANDO, Fla. — Embarrassed 42-13 at the hands of Florida State in last season’s Champs Sports Bowl, the Wisconsin football team used the humiliating loss that capped off a disappointing 7-6 season as motivation for what to improve upon in 2009.Simply put, it worked.In a game of redemption so literal the Badgers were placed in Orlando for the second year in a row, UW took down the No. 14 Miami Hurricanes 20-14 to improve to 10-3 and secure a spot at No. 16 in the final national rankings. Sick of hearing questions about bouncing back from 2008 for most of the year, UW head coach Bret Bielema happily answered the final query he should hear for quite some time about the 2008 campaign.“To get to 10 wins from where we were a year ago, what people thought of us, I think we looked within ourselves first, then we just kind of moved ourselves forward,” Bielema said.From the first play of the game, it didn’t seem quite that rosy.With the Badgers pumped for the last game of the season, the Hurricanes used UW’s aggressiveness against them, employing a reverse on the kickoff that ultimately went for 84 yards and crested with Miami running back Graig Cooper punching in a 16-yard touchdown run on the next play.Still, the Wisconsin defense held firm on the next possession, forcing a three-and-out and the Badger offense struck quickly, evening the game up with a deep pass to junior tight end Lance Kendricks — a recurring theme for the game — and two runs from game MVP John Clay inside the five yard line.Steady behind center all season, junior quarterback Scott Tolzien never doubted how his team would respond to the early hole.“We scrapped and we had some things that didn’t go our way in this game and we were able to overcome adversity,” Tolzien said.With Clay adding another touchdown midway through the second quarter — for the game Clay totaled 121 yards for a 5.5 average — the Badgers seized a seven-point lead and started to impose their will on the “faster” Miami team.Playing prototypical Wisconsin ball, the Badgers rushed 42 total times and passed merely 26, with many drop backs coming off play-action.“Our offensive line, we got big guys up front,” Clay said. “We know that. They punish the guys up front, the D-line up front. Coming to me off the backfield, 230 plus (insert laughter from Bielema about Clay’s proclaimed weight) that’s just wearing down the defense. We see. That’s what we do. Wisconsin football, we just run the ball. Third, fourth quarter, you could see them sucking air.”With the way the Badger defense harassed ballyhooed quarterback Jacory Harris, it wouldn’t have been a surprise to see the Miami signal caller ‘sucking air’ in the fourth quarter as well.To politely put it, the sophomore quarterback was ineffective. His deep balls were too deep, his short passes off the mark and his scrambles went side to side instead of north and south.Led by defensive ends O’Brien Schofield (two sacks and forced fumble) and J.J. Watt (critical fourth quarter sack and fumble recovery), the Wisconsin pass rush brought down Harris five times in the backfield and knocked him down at least double that.Though he avoided the interception bug that has plagued him all season, Harris finished with a lowly 188 yards on 16 of 29 passing and only looked effective on the late desperation drive in the fourth quarter where he notched his only touchdown of the day.“Every time I saw [Harris] limping it made me want to get back there that much more,” Schofield said. “They don’t really have a backup, so we were just trying to get him out of the game.”Hanging on to win despite Miami recovering an onside kick, the Badgers did what they had held back on for four straight months — they celebrated. Bielema was splashed with Gatorade, hugs were given all around and as center John Moffitt put it, “I am going to celebrate until the day I start back in school.”In a game built around redemption — whether the players would admit it or not — 2008 was finally put to bed.“Our seniors, I’ve said it a million times, but it would do injustice to our senior captains,” Bielema said of the bowl win. “The main reason we wanted to win the football game today was for each other.”last_img read more

Op-Ed: John Lewis Would Want Us To Vote And Vote Safely

first_imgToday, his legacy continues to come under attack and the House of Representatives playing defense, attempting in his name to restore and strengthen overturned provisions of the Voting Rights Act.  Now, more than ever, America needs us all engaged and giving our all to ensure every voter is heard. Thank you in advance for doing your part. To honor John Lewis and all our other heroes who have fought and bled for our freedoms over the years, we must all exercise our right to vote. Copyright Paul McDermott Photography In Florida, the Republican-controlled legislature has worked to suppress the vote, blocking expanded mail-in voting and frustrating the populace’s overwhelming vote to restore the civil rights of over a million former felons who have served their time and are therefore returning citizens. As I write, voting by mail is already underway for local primary and judicial elections on August 18 that are crucial to our future. The state has already missed the opportunity to protect citizens and poll workers by sending every voter a vote-by-mail ballot. center_img A tireless, fearless, life-long fighter for equality and voting rights, John Lewis told us: “We must ensure every vote and every voter counts.”  We honor and serve our community by voting and supporting our candidates of choice in every way possible. John Lewis would be proud to see us help the elderly and disabled get to a polling place and help anyone who might need assistance requesting a vote-by-mail ballot on the website.  With COVID-19 surging out of control, it is important that everyone request a vote-by-mail ballot before the August 8 deadline, to have the option of mailing or dropping off your ballot. The alternative is to vote very carefully in person during early voting from August 8-16, or on Election Day at your normal polling station. Joe Scott is a current Democratic candidate for Broward County Supervisor of Elections who credits the inspiration of John Lewis for encouraging him to make a difference and run for office.last_img read more

New TAA board advocates for industry

first_imgThe appointment of experienced hoteliers into the Tourism Accommodation Australia (TAA) board will add credibility and drive its Strategic Plan as it pursues advocacy for the accommodation industry, according to the Group.Welcoming the board members today, TAA chairman Tony South said the group of “energetic and highly experienced” members will add weight to the company’s recently announced Strategic Plan.“With experience in owning, investing, operating and managing substantial accommodation businesses this board will provide a high level of expertise,” Mr South said.In a boost for the accommodation industry advocacy, industry leaders on the board will bring experience to the table in management, asset management, destination marketing, franchising, human resources and general operation of properties.These properties range from Star Rated Hotels, Serviced Apartments and Motels to Holiday Parks.Mr South said the combined skills and track records of the board members will be essential to delivering TAA’s ambitious agenda for the accommodation industry. “We will make one or two further appointments as individuals who have the skills to add additional value become available,” Mr South concluded.The board includes the following members:Anthony K South – Chairman – Tourism Accommodation AustraliaPeter J. Hurley – CEO – Hurley Hotels, National President – Australian Hotels AssociationPeter Crinis – Group Executive General Manager – Crown Hotels and RetailPresident – AHA National Accommodation DivisionNigel Greenaway – Fund Manager – Eureka Funds Management, Director – TAA NSWAshley Spencer – Vice President Operations Australia – Hilton WorldwideSean Hunt – Regional Vice President – Starwood Pacific Hotels, MD Sheraton on the ParkJonathan Wooller – Senior Vice President – SilverNeedle HospitalityRobert Dawson – Area Director, Pacific – Hyatt Hotels and Resorts, Vice President TAA VICTrent Fraser – CEO – Choice Hotels AustralasiaRodger L. Powell – Managing Director – Tourism Accommodation AustraliaA division of the Australian Hotels Association Tourism Accommodation Australia, TAA is a newly established federally registered organisation representing hotels since 1836. Image – Tourism Accommodation Australia Source = e-Travel Blackboard: K.Wlast_img read more